Filed under: Action, Anarchist Movement, Education, Police, Southeast
“But police murder is never justified, and neither are the police as an institution. Simply put: the police serve as an occupying force.”
On the night of Saturday, September 16th, the Georgia Tech Police murdered Scout Schultz. Scout was an anarchist, an activist, and the president of the Gerogia Tech Pride Alliance. They fought for police abolition, an end to capitalism, and freedom from state control. Scout (who used they/them pronouns and identified as nonbinary, bisexual and intersex) was a beloved member of their communities, at Georgia Tech and throughout Atlanta. Some may say that Scout’s murder was justified, because they were carrying a multi-tool that looked like a knife to GTPD officers, or because they were walking towards the police, or for any number of other reasons.
But police murder is never justified, and neither are the police as an institution. Simply put: the police serve as an occupying force. Modern policing developed from patrols to catch runaway slaves and forces to suppress working class organization. As an institution, the police have never abandoned this social function of maintaining the status quo of oppression and terrorizing marginalized people. On Saturday night when Scout was executed, the Georgia Tech Police Department was doing its job.
“Vigil organizers attempted to cut the event short. They restricted speakers to only those affiliated with their organizations, not allowing any voice for Scout’s other mourning friends and comrades.”
On the Sunday afternoon after Scout was shot in the heart and killed, flowers were laid on Georgia Tech’s campus near where they died. Starting on Sunday night, multiple banners were dropped throughout the city mourning Scout, calling for solidarity, and denouncing the police.
On Monday evening a vigil was held on campus to mourn Scout and remember their life. Vigil organizers attempted to cut the event short. They restricted speakers to only those affiliated with their organizations, not allowing any voice for Scout’s other mourning friends and comrades. This was a clear attempt to sanitize Scout’s memory and position themselves as Scout’s allies, rather than representatives of the very power structure Scout was resisting, the same power structure that eventually killed them.
Friends and comrades of Scout were undeterred, shouting from their places in the crowd. Their shouts were cries of mourning as well as denouncements of Georgia Tech and its police. As this was happening, a group of mourners gathered with banners and flags, and began chanting, before breaking away into a march.
The crowd, which grew to over one hundred people, marched through the Georgia Tech campus, drumming, shouting, and lighting fireworks, before gathering around several cops and their cruiser near the campus police station. Tension escalated as the police antagonized the crowd, before beating and violently detaining several protesters as the demonstrators attempted to defend themselves and each other.
During the conflict, a police cruiser was lit on fire and several cruiser windows were smashed. The demonstration was an expression of grief for Scout’s death, and rage at the systems that led to Scout’s murder. The protesters were not “outside agitators” as some claim. They were people who cared deeply about Scout. They were students and community members, anarchists and lgbtq+ activists. They were people fighting for the same things Scout fought for.
To anyone who is enraged, grieving, or who stands against the police and the murderous system they protect, we call for actions in solidarity with our fight here in Atlanta. To anyone who is fighting for liberation: in the coming days, fight with Scout’s name on your lips, on your banners, and in your hearts.
To help support our struggle, please donate to the bail fundraiser for those arrested Monday night here.